The most important nutrient for banana cultivation, symptoms of lack of potash and technique of managing it

By: MeriKheti
Published on: 04-Oct-2023

Potash, also known as potassium (K), is one of the necessary macronutrients required for healthy growth of all plants, including bananas. Potassium plays an important role in various physiological processes within plants, such as photosynthesis, enzyme activation, osmoregulation and nutrient. Lack of potash in banana plants has a harmful effect on their growth, fruit growth and overall productivity. Let's know about the major symptoms of lack of potash in banana plants and various strategies to manage it ....

Symptoms of lack of potash in banana plants

Potassium deficiency in banana plants is manifested through many types of symptoms that affect different parts of the plant. It is important to understand these symptoms for timely diagnosis and effective management. Some common symptoms of lack of potash in banana plants are as follows:

ALSO READ: How to manage the growing thrips in banana cultivation in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh due to monsoon active in September?

Symptoms of lack of potash on leaf

Brown of the edges of the leaf: The edges of the old leaves become brown and dry, this condition is called leaf scorching. 

Turning of leaves: The leaves turn up or downwards, which distorts their form. 

Yellowing among the veins: The yellow of leaf tissue between the veins, called interveinal chlorosis, is a common symptom.

 Leaf necrosis: In severe cases, necrotic (dead) spots may appear on the leaves, reducing photosynthetic activity.

Symptoms of lack of potash on fruit

Lowering fruit size: Lack of potash reduces the size of fruits, which affects the market price of bananas. 

Uneven ripening: Fruits do not cook evenly, making it challenging for business producers.

Symptoms of lack of potash on stem and bunch

Stagnant growth: The overall growth of banana plants may stop, resulting in reduced yield.

Small flakes: Fruits become small and thin due to lack of potash.

Also read: Banana's sigatoka leaf spot disease, causes, symptoms, effects and various measures to manage

Symptoms of lack of potash at the root

The roots are less empowered due to weak cell walls and become more sensitive to diseases.

Management of lack of potash in banana plants

Management of lack of potash in banana plants includes a combination of potassium on soil and leaves as well as other agricultural functions to improve the absorption and use of potassium. Some measures are being suggested here to effectively manage the lack of potash, such as:

Soil testing

Start by testing soil to assess potassium levels in the soil. This will provide correct guidance regarding determining the severity of deficiency and using proper potassium fertiliser.

Fertiliser application

Use potassium -containing fertilisers, such as potassium sulphate (K2SO4) or potassium chloride (KCL), based on soil testing recommendations. Include potassium fertilisers in the soil during planting or during the development of bananas. Monitor soil pH, as highly acidic or alkaline soil can reduce the amount of potassium. Adjust the pH level if necessary.

Also read: Panama Wilt Disease has affected the banana crop in these areas of India.

Spraying on the leaves

In cases of severe shortage, spraying potassium on the leaves is a quick remedy. To protect the leaves from burning, dissolve potassium nitrate or potassium sulphate in water and apply it in the morning or afternoon. Apply organic wet grass around banana plants to preserve soil moisture and maintain soil temperature continuously. This improves potassium absorption by roots.

Balanced nutrition

Ensure that other essential nutrients, such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), are also present in sufficient amounts to prevent the imbalance of nutrients. Bananas require 150-200 grams of nitrogen (n), 40-60 grams phosphorus (P2O5) and 200-300 grams of potash per plant on the basis of soil and variety. The use of one-fourth nitrogen (N) and one-third potash (K2O) in the time of flowering (reproductive phase) has been found to be beneficial. At the time of flowering, the use of nitrogen delays the ageing of the leaves and improves the weight of bunches and using a third potash improves finger filling. Using the total quantity of nitrogen and potassium into farming from a banana plant prepared by tissue enhancement provides maximum benefit by using the total amount of nitrogen and potassium such as the first planting, 45 days after planting, the third-90 days later, the fourth, the fourth -135 days later; 5th-180 days later. The entire amount of phosphorus fertiliser should be put at the time of last ploughing or while filling the pit.

Water management

Proper irrigation to avoid water stress, as drought conditions can increase potassium deficiency.

Also read: Learn about the characteristics and benefits of red banana

Crop circle

Change the banana crop with other plants to reduce the risk of lack of nutrients in the soil.

Disease and pest control

Immediately solve any disease or insect infection, as they can put pressure on the plant and obstruct the nutrients.

Harvesting and removing dead leaves

To promote the development of a healthy, potassium-efficient decnus, regularly damaged or sort dead leaves.

Monitoring and adjustment

Constantly monitor the plant's response to potassium treatments and adjust fertiliser experiments accordingly. Finally, it can be said that lack of potassium in banana plants has a significant negative effect on growth, fruit quality and yield. To overcome this deficiency and ensure a healthy and productive banana crop, timely diagnosis and proper management are necessary, including soil testing, fertiliser experiment and agricultural functions. By applying these strategies, banana producers customise potassium nutrition and get better overall plant health and fruit production.